One common link between most CEOs and entrepreneurs is they didn’t get where they are on their own. So as you embark on your career or starting a company, you must surround yourself with role models or mentors to help you along the way. Only 5% of CEOs are females, and only 1.7% of female entrepreneurs ever reach a million dollars in sales. I believe one of the main reasons is because women don’t ask for help and seek mentors. The path to building your own business or climbing the corporate ladder is unknown and difficult, so having someone with experience to guide and advise you is crucial. Many CEOs and founders have mentors (even after huge success) because they look to these mentors for growth and wisdom over time.
Where do you find these mentors?
- You can hire a business coach.
- You can look at someone who has done what you wanted to do in the same industry or a different one and learn everything about that person. If they are too popular or busy to have a formal relationship, then read and listen to anything they have done.
- Use your network to reach out to ask for help. You will be surprised most people want to help because they know they didn’t get where they are without help.
- Create a mastermind group with like-minded women who are all trying to do great things.
Here are top reasons why you need a mentor and how they can impact your business and life:
- Mentors can often use their experience to see where you/your business needs improvement.
- They can help us set boundaries between work and life that we might neglect otherwise.
- At the beginning of your career of founding a business, a mentor can provide an entire network for you to help grow your company.
- Mentors over time can become close confidants and sounding boards for both life and business ideas.
- Female mentors can create a sense of comfort and ease in a business environment that is not always made for women.
Your mentor does not to be a formal relationship. Start by offering to take them to lunch or coffee. From there, reach out to them every 6 months to check in. The most important thing to note is that it will take time to cultivate a strong relationship. Start by thinking of ways you can help them instead of wondering how they can help you. If there is a two-way street, your mentor will be more eager to help you. Send them thoughtful gifts, interesting articles, or anything that would make them think you put time and thoughtfulness into your gesture.
So if you don’t have a mentor, I want you to start a list of potential mentors. Then reach out to one to see if they can chat on the phone or grab lunch, and you're on your way to building a lasting relationship.
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*This blog post is sponsored by Corpnet and I will make a small commission when my link is used that goes to creating more podcast episodes and blog content– thank you for your support!*